“Sister Wives” is wrapping up this Sunday…and all of the execs at TLC are probably holding their collective breaths while the viewers weigh in on the carefully chosen spin that they have thrown into the Brown wife-swap whammy.
The network has an uphill climb ahead of them, because while it was first believed that this could be a long thought out strategy towards a possible ratings bump, that theory has been proven dead wrong. To refresh your memories, Kody and Meri divorced last September, and Kody promoted fourth wife, Robyn, to the sole legal wife position on December 11th. All About the Tea, as well as several other media outlets, broke the story of the swap over the course of a few days, with our story posting on February 1st.
The cast was spotted filming last spring, which aligns with the graduations and the summertime road trip that were highlighted this season. The last time we saw Meri, she was awkwardly announcing that a change was a comin’, before we flashed to a scene with a lawyer and her, where we learn of the divorce. While All About the Tea maintains that TLC has supposedly pulled a fast one. In addition to the Browns have seemingly been caught red handed in a shifty cover up, other outlets have been strangely credulous in the wake of the ‘shocking’ polygamous plot twist. However, social media is an entirely different story, and a little digging uncovered the final nails to be pounded into the Brown/TLC coffin of viewer manipulation.
The first sign of TLC kicking off a damage control operation was the announcement of two specials, profiling the two wives in the midst of the power shift, Meri and Robyn. The “behind the scenes” specials aired on Feb 8th and Feb 15th, with the shiny new wife’s special, go figure, airing first. Maybe TLC had this planned all along to build a dramatic ratings crescendo before the D-bomb is dropped? That’s what they are hoping the viewers will believe….but not so fast. A photo of the clap board being used on set during some obvious quickie taping was leaked, and the date and title identifying the project tells the story. The Meri special was being thrown together on February 2nd, just days AFTER the news of the divorce had begun to leak out to the public, debunking all theories pointing to TLC deliberately targeting a ratings boost.
A little more digging uncovered a Facebook post put out by Karyn Thompson, who works for Puddle Monkey Productions, the production company behind Sister Wives. The comment posted February 5th, indicated that they had JUST finished up with a Season 5, “Sister Wives” production, with producer Christopher Poole interjecting that middle of the night editing was necessary.
Will TLC come clean and spill the real story, or will the hard sell towards supporting this
shady ‘family,’ whose claim of being vulnerable and real has been blown out of the cul de sac? How will the increasingly skeptical viewing audience accept the ‘real story’ Sunday night reveal being sold hard on the cast Twitter pages?